Eddie Nketiah (LW) – Arteta tried this at Rapid Vienna and it was a complete failure. The link-up between Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette was nonexistent, with Nketiah totally lost out on the wing and the Frenchman’s frequency dropping deep leaving nobody in the box.
All that said, the situation is as such with injuries that it may be forced. If Maitland-Niles can push high down the left, a front four could be formed with Smith Rowe and Willock sitting just off of them in the pockets. Works in theory, at least.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – This decision comes down to whether Arteta persists with Aubameyang through the middle. I’m of the belief that we’ll see it more often moving forward, which means Lacazette could get the nod on Thursday in an attacking setup similar to the opening group game in Austria.
He really needs a goal.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – Initially, I steered clear of this call. Arteta, very firm in his beliefs, could well have dropped the Ivorian. However, as he said post-Aston Villa, in the best scenario, Arsenal would have been playing the following day so they could amend for their failings.
The same should apply to the squad, right? Pepe’s actions at Elland Road were inexcusable, but four days later he has the chance to rectify that idiocy. Dropping him from the team does nobody any favours. His confidence is shot as it is, it’d be foolish to diminish it further.
If injuries weren’t as they were he might have been made to do with a spot on the bench.